Android - Block Automatic Updates & Firewall
Block Automatic Updates
If you are only concerned about "System Updates", you may want to disable the automatic updates on your device, prior to your flight.
- Go to Settings > Apps.
- Navigate to Manage Apps > All Apps.
- Find an app called Software Update, System Updates or anything similar, since different device manufacturers have named it different.
- To disable system update, try any of these two methods, the first one being recommended:
Tap Turn Off or Disable button and then OK. In case this button is grayed out, tap on Force Stop > OK to turn the process off temporarily. In such case, there is a possibility that the app may turn on automatically after some time. The app will surely be turned on again after the system reboot or if you check for updates manually.
If you are only concerned about apps auto updating, you could setup a firewall and configure which apps can access what. A popular Android Firewall app for this is AFWall.
AFWall+ (Android Firewall +) is a front-end application for the powerful iptables Linux firewall.It allows you to restrict which applications are permitted to access your data networks (2G/3G and/or Wi-Fi and while in roaming). Also you can control traffic within LAN or while connected through VPN.
And from their open source repository on GitHub:
Android Firewall+ (AFWall+) is an advanced iptables editor (GUI) for Android. It provides fine-grained control over which Android apps are allowed to access the network.
iOS 12 - Disable Software Updates & Background App Refresh
Disable Software Update
- On your iPhone, launch Settings and select General > Software Update.
- Select Automatic Updates. Note, if your iPhone currently has pending updates they will be displayed here.
- Toggle Automatic Updates off (left/white).
Background App Refresh
To restrict iOS apps from refreshing content when on Wi-Fi (or cellular) you can turn them off in "Background App Refresh" settings of your device.
- Go to Settings.
- Click on General.
- Scroll to bottom and choose: Background App Refresh
- Switch off the App you want to remove from refreshing OR Switch it off entirely for all apps at the top menu.
Background App Refresh allows apps to refresh their content when on Wi-Fi or cellular in the background.
macOS - Disable Automatic Updates (App and System)
Disable Automatic App Updates
According to this MacObserver article for macOS 14.1 Mojave, you should...
- Start by clicking on the Apple Menu in the upper-left corner of your screen and choosing “App Store.”
- Choose App Store > Preferences.
- Deselect the “Automatic Updates” checkbox
Disable Automatic macOS System Updates
- Open the Apple Menu and choose “System Preferences”
- Click on “Software Update.”
- Deselect the “Automatically keep my Mac up to date” checkbox at the bottom.
- Or if you’d prefer, you can click on the “Advanced” button to individually select what items you’d like to have automatically update—and which ones you don’t want to give that power to.
According to Apple support article, if you're using OS X El Capitan v10.11.5 or later, you should turn off background downloads. I am not sure what OS X you are using, since you did not specify.